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Symphony No. 5

The opening four notes of Beethoven’s groundbreaking work are perhaps the most famous in music history. It’s a work of grand dimensions and limitless colour.

Recommended recording:
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Carlos Kleiber
DG 471 6302

https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/6eOuqhCfrTPp1H0YbQ9PmL

 

 

Symphony No. 9

Beethoven takes the listener from dark solemnity to the heights of exaltation. The finale setting of Schiller’s Ode to Joy builds to an explosive climax.

Recommended recording:
Tomowa-Sintow, Baltsa, Schreier, Van Dam, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Karajan DG 477 6325

https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/745OTb1REdERaAzBPzYCXy

 

 

Piano Sonata No. 29 (Hammerklavier)

Deemed unplayable when it was first published, Beethoven’s most technically difficult sonata covers more emotional ground than any of the other 31.

Recommended recording:
Stephen Kovacevich (piano)
EMI Classics 965 9222

https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/56foraJkruaFQAOxa7wEdF

 

 

Violin Concerto

A serene, peaceful concerto that embraces a soaring first-movement theme and a rather mischievous, playful finale.

Recommended recording:
Hilary Hahn (violin), Baltimore Symphony Orchestra/Zinman
Sony Classical SK 60584

https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/1pgbvbkAY3n9m54nBeBZPn

 

 

Piano Concerto No. 4

The heart and soul of Beethoven’s astonishing five piano concertos with its expansive, stately first movement and an exuberant, joyful Rondo finale.

Recommended recording:
Till Fellner (piano), Montreal Symphony Orchestra/Kent Nagano
ECM 476 3315

https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/3BHZtVatf41aCVr8cPGQSU

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